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3TV Presents: LUCCI

 

Cancer

Cancer!
Why do you exist?
Why am I born with you?
There is not an ounce of construction in you,
Only destruction.
I take it back.
You Can be constructive
On how you plot to invest our bodies
With pain and suffering, organ by organ
And you do Not discriminate.
You make travel paths from our brains
All the way down to our feet
As if not a bone or a muscle stands in your way.

You play with our minds.
We are dogs that tilt our heads when you
Do something we don’t understand, like,
Come back.
Then we cower in the corner
Wondering what we did wrong,
What we did to deserve this.
Your policy of no mercy is Effective like a death sentence.
One way or another it’s going to happen.
Dragging bodies through stages of Hell
Wished only for afterlife.

Don’t look away when I’m talking to you.
If you wish to End me one day
You look me in the eyes first.

That’s just like you.
Not a care in the world.
You move your eyes
Like you relocate your most trusted destroyers.
Throat.
Breast.
Bladder.
Lung.
Colon.
Kidney.
Prostate.
Pancreas
And too many more bricks
Of our most beloved walls.
You are like a kid at the playground
Where the human anatomy is a jungle gym
At your disposal and discretion.

I’m glad you’re having fun at our expense.
One simple fact keeps me grounded.
Hopeful.
Peels away layers of the cynic
You ripened inside me.
You are Not undefeated.
You Can be beaten.
You Can be overcome.
You Can be conquered
And it doesn’t matter
That you’ve won more battles than lost.
What matters is Just because
You press the start button
That doesn’t mean the game is rigged.
People have a Chance to beat you.
The levels will get harder, and harder
Because that’s the way you like it
But you can still slip on that banana peel
And land flat in remission.

You don’t like that word, remission, do you?
Reminds you of all those times you cut and run.
You staked the white flag
Because you knew you couldn’t win.
You felt as useless as the masses you’ve preyed on
And you felt Less, than a Fraction,
Of what We go through,
Day by day simply after
Making yourself known.
You even leach on to Kids,
Making adults not enough
To quench your thirst for cold blood.

It’s OK.
You will always have an advantage.
Your resources are everything inside
And outside
Because we are hosts,
Born with the cruel and unusual
Parasite that you are
But you are Not the unbreakable
And you are Not an untouchable.
Your weakness is the knowledge
You always have a chance at winning
And losing.

So keep us in hospitals.
Expose our scalps.
Pale our faces.
That’s why we started fighting
And we will Never stop,
Even if it Kills us.
We are not afraid of you anymore.
As superior as you are,
You are just as capable
Of being humbled into your Own corner
Of nonexistence.

I’m not asking you to leave.
I’m telling you you should go.
I’m not asking authorities to
Vacate you from my premises.
I’m gonna be the one to show you the door.
I’m gonna prey on You for a change.
I’m gonna put you in your rightful place.
Outside…of me.

 

LUCCI (which stands for Listening, Understanding, Caring, Considering, Inquiring) is a poet, an actor and aspiring comedian who enjoys being creative while making positive change and entertaining in the process. He has featured in such places as Boston Talent Showcase, Wierdstock 2011, The 2nd Annual Haught Pink Breast Cancer Fashion Show, Writer’s Block, and also had a role in the independent film Supa Dupa.

 

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Poem by José Gouveia

 

Last Rites

They don’t call it that any more,
Now it’s the Sacrament of the Sick –
Which is kind of like Walpole State
High-security prison changing its name
To Cedar Junction. It sounds prettier,
Audio make-up painting over my feelings
About dying. Some people get a good couple
Months of quality life, hard to tell,
A medical opinion serving as a daily
Mirror to my own mortality.

Don’t go to sleep tonight,
You might not wake up

Became my nightly mantras
While meditating in the jellyfish position,
In an exclusive relationship
With seeking peace and praying
That God and I am at least
As cool as the neighbor I never
Smile or wave to, but know they’re there,
Appreciate the beauty of their yard.
I don’t necessarily want to play in that yard,
Just want to look at it, consider it art,
Be grateful for the neighbor I have,
Pray for their children,
Pay them to shovel my snow
And mow my lawn.

You will mow your own lawn soon,
Prune, trim, edge, mow, rake, clean
You’ll be the pretty boy soon

This chorus comes to me like a skipped record.
Somehow I knew I wouldn’t die, not yet.
There was work left to be done.
I would think of Maria, who went holistic,
was told 6 months over 20 years ago.

That will be me some day! That will be me!

I change my diet, go vegan,
Strictly all natural, see what direction
My body then wants to move in, organically.

Forward motion, forward motion
Move a muscle, change a thought
A year and a half later
I wonder if the Sacrament of the Sick
Has expiration dates, though I have
No intentions of renewing before deadline.
Instead I dance like a fool, sing even worse,
Laugh a lot more, and fall in love.

On the day I was put into remission,
I proposed. She said yes to no diamond
Offerings, no gold to band us.
When we married 3 months later,
No one dared ask if we were rushing it.

Previous divorce dissolved the Blood of Christ,
Where I dripped it on myself, staining
A worse shade than original sin, mortal sin.
Instead of a Church and Altar
We had a Minister and the beach,
Daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons and daylilies,
Much the same of what I eat up these newest days.
All because of divorce, no Priest may marry us.
He may only offer Last Rites.
Excuse me, the Sacrament of the Sick.

But that’s okay, because I am no longer sick.
I am well on my way to wellness,
Already living my afterlife.
You can’t put a timeline on that,
Only a storyline, a plot with purpose,
Or whatever the hell else comes after Last Rites.

 

Photography © Allison Goldin
Photography © Allison Goldin

 

José Gouviea is a poet, journalist & poetry radio personality who lives on Cape Cod. He is Poetry Curator at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, author of the Meter Man poetry column for the Barnstable Patriot newspaper in Hyannis, and host of the Poets Corner poetry radio show out of WOMR-FM in Provincetown. José’s reading of this poem was recorded at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event hosted by Stone Soup Poetry.

Allison Goldin is an artist living in Cambridge. Her work is a collection of spontaneous drawings from the imagination. The most common link throughout her art are the semi-recognizable creatures scattered amongst and bringing together the surrounding doodles. She is currently studying Illustration at The School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Oddball Magazine has published poems by José as well as tributes to him in order to raise awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

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Class Struggle by José Gouveia

 

I have one carpenter an alcoholic who’s drinking again
             He whacked his wife good got a court date today
             She may not show up if he goes back to A.A.
             He’s desperate now so he’s only smoking pot

Another lumper a Vietnam Vet can only work alone
             He’s afraid of heights and can’t be trusted
             Near anyone with a hammer or nail gun
             We use him for clean-ups and dump runs

By the end of the week the new kid from the tech
             Who knows more than the rest will be fired
             His dad used to beat him, won’t be told what to do
             He’ll say his boss sucks & move to Florida

Summer I’ll hire that student from the community college
             Whose Dad was a carpenter & died when he was 6
             He is slow but meticulous has a new girlfriend each week
             He’ll have one pregnant by August and transfer to full time

My foreman’s in rehab withdrawing from heroine and crystal meth
             He’s the best I’ve got his wife picks up his checks
             She says he was molested by a priest as a kid
             That he’s not a bad guy if only he could stay clean

Before mid-spring I’ll need more help & hire a half dozen
             Helpers unskilled from the labor temp agency
             Two will work out and stick around for a while
             Unlike their parents who too are in rehab

One new hire will learn fast replace the foreman one day
             Thank me for teaching him a trade that pays
             And giving him a chance to prove himself
             Something the folks in the foster home never did

Others will quit steal tools start their own business
             Take down payments never do the work
             File for bankruptcy and keep the funds
             Pay off gambling debts instead of get-rich-quick

Some will be replaced by divorced union carpenters from the city
             Who’ll say they moved to Cape Cod for the slower pace
             Ask to be paid cash under the table or can’t work
             While somewhere in Boston his kids are hungry

Another kid from the tech will eventually come along
             Hungry to show that he’s one of the guys
             He’ll spend 10 minutes in the trailer looking
             For the wood stretcher the journeyman sent him for

Next week that same journeyman will cut off his finger
             On the table saw while wearing OSHA approved
             Eye goggles after bragging about the safety course
             He took and how many year’s experience he has

Before the year is out and our building projects complete
             The rookie will start dealing pot this summer, get arrested
             The journeyman will switch careers selling insurance
             And the foreman might not make it thru withdrawals

Of those who stay on
All will ask for a raise.

 

José Gouviea is a poet, journalist & poetry radio personality who lives on Cape Cod. He is Poetry Curator at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, author of the Meter Man poetry column for the Barnstable Patriot newspaper in Hyannis, and host of the Poets Corner poetry radio show out of WOMR-FM in Provincetown. José’s reading of this poem was recorded at the Out of The Blue Art Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts during the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event hosted by Stone Soup Poetry.

Oddball Magazine has published poems by José as well as tributes to him in order to raise awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

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Go JoeGO Go! Poems for José Gouveia, Day Eleven: Len Germinara

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

For Joe and His Beat Motor Scooter

Hey Joe hang up the colors for now
The ones with the picture of Ginsberg
Kerouac and Burroughs on the edges

As beat as your old scooter
With its faded paint
And worn out tires

Never really beautiful but
She does keep the rubber on the road

And the seat is well worn
Evidence of two asses

The peg is bent

Which indicates as well as anything
The reason why they call it dope

Put a tarp down in the living room
It’s time to strip the engine
Pull the carburetor
Rework the timing

While you’re at it
Re-chrome the pipes
Give her a new coat of paint

But leave the peg bent
As a reminder

Have her ready for a putt
Come next spring

 

Len Germinara lives 26 miles out to sea with the woman he loves, a dog he adores, and two cats he finds mildly amusing. He hosts along with Sarah Oktay, the long running poetry series Spoken Word Nantucket.

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

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Go JoeGO Go! Poems for José Gouveia, Day Ten: Barry Hellman

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

 

Landing at Madeira
for Joe Gouveia

What if a man fled from one country to another
and his ship was knocked off course by a storm?
How could he manage to stay alive? He’d have to
rough-hew a part of the forest to make shelter,
find a way to bring water to where there wasn’t
enough, all the while knowing he was living
on top of a volcano whose lava flow resembled
a warrior’s shield lying on the ground. And
if he had to remain there for a long time he’d
plant sweet-salt in a field of bougainvillea, learn to
make a wine that could survive for years after it was opened.

 

Barry Hellman has been Joe Gouveia’s co-host at the Poets Corner Poetry & Music Open Mic Series on Cape Cod for the past 5 years. He is a clinical psychologist, poet and workshop leader whose most recent poems have appeared in Ballard Street Poetry Journal, Comstock Review, Cape Cod Poetry Review, Still Crazy Literary Magazine, Muddy River, and Ibbetson Street. His chapbook, The King Of Newark, was published by Finishing Line Press.

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.

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A Special Jagged Thought Dedicated to Joe Gouveia by Jason Wright

10 Angels (A New Journal)

 

I hope you find healing in these words my friend.

For Joe

 

We suffer for something.

Makes us strong.
A stitch in the fabric of life.
We strive for something,
Makes us strong.
Makes us honest.

I believe in Angels.

I really do.

I believe in them.

And healing hands
are on you, man.

And all our prayers
are answered,

because angels
answer prayers.

They hold the hands of doctors.
Anesthesiologists. Nurses.

And 10 angels hold the hands of
cancer surgeons.
And they heal.
That’s what they are here to do,

Heal.

And poetry can heal you,
each positive stanza develops your strength like Polaroid cameras.

I can see inside you.
I really can’t see inside you,
But let my words in for a second.
Let me paint you a picture
of what I see.

Inside you,

I see
A calming beam of healing light,
a bright feeling
a warm feeling

so bright to look
a light that could cause your eyes to blind.

It is encompassed by a blue sky and high curling waves.
When you blink
pure sunshine escapes
And when you laugh
pure wind.
And when you breathe
the sea changes.

In and out,

each breath growing stronger
causing clouds to form,

so many clouds form.

But you are surrounded by waves of
light and wind and the breeze calms
You.
Causing you to smile
And each small scar is healing
and you are
reading
Your poems out loud.

And we are applauding every word!

And I see seagulls on an early Cape Cod Ocean Morning
And I see you running through them.
As they scatter
You feel free.
Free from everything.
Free from Cancer.

I see you at a typewriter
And I see you
Smile.

And I see you walking, kicking stones.
and I see you writing in,
a New Journal.
And you sit down
And the sun shines.
And you pull your hat down over
Your eyes.
And I see the words on the page

And they read:
Today I walked on the beach
And I have never felt so alive.
Today,
I am cancer free.

There must be Angels
Watching Over me
I beat Cancer
Again!
I beat Cancer!

There must be angels
watching over me.
I beat Cancer.

And the winds picks up, a warm breeze

And you smile, as you turn the page.

Cancer free.

 

 

Jason Wright is the founder and Editor of Oddball Magazine. His “Jagged Thoughts” column appears weekly.

Oddball Magazine will be publishing ongoing tributes to José Gouveia to in the hopes of raising awareness of the Joe Gouveia Recovery Fund, an effort to help offset the costs of the poet’s upcoming cancer surgery.